Where once the legendary Big Nick’s stood, you can now buy cronut knockoffs for $5 a pop. Mille-Feuille Bakery Cafe opened on Broadway between 76th and 77th on Tuesday, serving coffee and pastries.
The place is quite nice and bright inside, but it could be startling to longtime Upper West Siders who remember huddling in Nick’s at 3 a.m. scarfing cheeseburgers. Then again, maybe not. An employee we spoke with on Wednesday said no one had mentioned Nick’s yet.
The bakery takes up about half of the old diner. It’s not yet clear what will take the other half.
Check out photos and videos from the last night at Big Nick’s here.
Nice job supporting new business by complaining about it not being the old business.
Be happy it is not a bank or a Subway and maybe give them some support that is not draped in animosity at it’s existence.
Is that what it’s come down to? “Be happy it’s not something worse?” Really? Nick’s duo of eateries were thriving, but driven out by rent gauging. So now we get overpriced faux French pastries?
You can’t demand people be happy about unnatural commercial evolution.
They made one joke about a fake Cronut in the article! Lighten up. I guarantee getting mentioned in West Side Rag gets this bakery tons of business.
Z – fully agreed.
too bad, I was hoping for another Duane Reade. 🙁 Anyone know where I can find one, I never see them around anymore.
Or bank or Starbucks.. Do any of these multi national chains pay tax in NY? I dont think so. No wonder the infrastructure of the City is going down the toilet.
Are you truly this dumb? Does attempting to think hurt your head?
Millefeuille is a great addition — the guy is very nice and a legitimately good French baker.
*like* + 1
No one has mentioned Nick’s to the staff, because no one misses Nick’s.
So do you bake the pastries or tend the counter?
I was in the village last night…. They actually have real restaurants there still.. Who’s buying all these bakery items.. New Yorkers were fit and thin. Now look what happened!
Valid and true!
I miss Nick’s.
I agree – don’t be hard on this business because you miss Big Nick’s. It is not this business’s fault that Big Nick’s is not there.
I am sorry for the people who ran Big Nick’s that they were not able to survive the rent increase, and I’m sorry for the folks who see their neighborhood changing in ways they don’t like. Those are both genuine losses, and I do feel sympathy.
At the same time, I like to see places like this in our neighborhood, and I’m really looking forward to trying it out. Big Nicks was not a place that I enjoyed, and I think I will enjoy this. Moreover, as others have noted, this is a real business, not a chain store (not that I hate all of those either), and I think it would be more appropriate to support them (and it looks as though it will be very pleasant to do so!).
We don’t blame the businesses..we blame the greedy landlords!! Who do you think raised the rents to unacceptable levels? Dumbass!!!
The other half of what was formerly Big Nick’s will be used as an entranceway to the Belleclaire Hotel so it has access to Broadway.
Of course it’s nice to see a new small business move into the neighborhood but like many other independent stores that have left due to greedy landlords “new” doesn’t always mean better. Rent dictates not only how we live but how we may survive and it’s obviously out of control.
Full circle, before Nick open the Pizza Joint and combined
it with the already existing Burger Joint, the space was
occupied by a bakery I cannot remember the name but it
was a good bakery.
I agree with several of the other commenters here. As a 30-year-old who’s owned a coop apt on the UWS for about 3 years now, I’ve never really like Big Nicks and was happy to see it go. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy small town diner style restaurants(I grew up in the suburbs), but all I ever got at Big Nick’s was overpriced food that didn’t really taste good enough for the price point. And there was never the hometown feel that I always assumed was their big draw. Maybe it used to be good, but not anymore. I’m glad there’s a bakery there now. I could use some nicer options for dessert.
You must have a nice wallet.
Big Nicks is what New Yawk was all about. This is why this gentrification and de-culturization is not necessarily better. It will just become more sterile looking/feeling and till it’s boring like the burbs. Change is not always good. Sometimes it just sucks…especially when treasures and staples disappear. Take the old Penn Station. Same thing almost happened to Grand Central. People who don’t understand history…will be doomed to repeat it.
OMG please give me a large break. Big Nicks was a Greek diner. That’s it! And a rather expensive one. (14 bucks for a chicken caesar salad I think) If this is what got you hot and excited about life on the UWS, Lou, I feel sorry for you. You’re not very sassy, just sad.
Hi 30 something year old with the money to buy into a co-op in one of the richest areas in the entire United States. I’m a born and raised UWSER in my late 20’s from a middle class family working full time to pay my rent across the river. My question is how the hell can you tell me a $7.75 cheeseburger is expensive when you are AN UPPER WESTSIDE CO-OP MEMBER!!?!?!?!!
Perhaps you ordered the specialty menu items like the lobster or Caviar because anyone whose ever been to Nicks knows it’s cheap.
Great that we have another Bakery though…
I can’t get enough of them…. Levain, Grandaisy, Magnolia and Pain d’Épices are not enough!!!!!!!!
I’ll with you A. Don’t let these entrenched Upper West Siders who “work from home” and, therefore, having nothing to do all day but complain to their co-op boards and sit in their cards to escape alternate side parking tickets push you around. You and the rest of the young, working, people purchasing co-ops with young families are the future here, and the businesses need to adapt.
THANK YOU, Jason, for standing up to pure B.S. and speaking the truth!
The best thing that ever happened to the UWS is the proliferation of young families with children. If they can afford to live here they are obviously not poor, AND they will demand the necessary changes to make the UWS liveable. They have strong opinions AND they know how to fight the system to get what is necessary for a decent life-style.
As for the trolls who sit in their dismal walk-up apartments lamenting “a lost New York”: GET A LIFE!! New York is NOT lost! It is, and always will be spectacular, for a zillion reasons.
As someone once said, those who are bored with New York are obviously bored with life!
Fuck the families. They need to go back to the Burbs….New York is NOT for kids.
Agreed! A, don’t let the curmudgeons scare you. Some of these grumps don’t realize that their beloved USW of 25 years ago disappeared 25 years ago. I lament it too, but it’s time to embrace our changes and make the best of it. Welcome to the ‘hood and enjoy the new bakery!
We have more than enough bakeries in the UWS. Crumbs, Sugar & Plumm, Magnolia, Baked by Melissa, etc. ENOUGH ALREADY!!!! We don’t need another friggin bakery. And don’t get me started on the yogurt shops. Obviously, people like A, Cyrus, Jason, Paul RL have no appreciation for this neighborhood. The UWS is not a strip mall. You want a strip mall? Go back to the suburbs where you belong. And take your overpriced co-ops with you.
I’ve lived on the Upper West Side plenty long, Diva, and have seen all my favorite comic book stores, book stores, specialty shops etc. sadly disappear. Yes, it sucks. But get your head out of the sand and stop misdirecting your anger. This is happening all over the world, not just the UWS. Write a letter to the global corporations or the commercial landlords of you want, but stop blaming the people moving into the neighborhood. Trust me, nobody’s coming here because we have so many banks and Duane Reads.
You got it wrong suburbanite…
New Yorkers have seldom owned cars! We used to enjoy walking and keeping fit! Cant do that much now .. too much scaffolding and way too many obese people on the sidewalks.
@A: Kindly go back to the suburbs. You are everything that’s wrong with the UWS.
Yes. Do please piss off back to the suburbs!
I hear it’s getting very dangerous here and you may get mugged and your car broken into!! Lot of unemployment going on in NY these days. Watch out.
What am I missing here? I’ve seen far more offensive posts on this blog than A’s. It doesn’t seem that his honest observation about Nicks warrants shipping him back to the suburbs. Seems more like we’ve got a bunch of curmudgeons on here.
Seems more like we’ve got a bunch of curmudgeons on here.”
—- you think?
Personally if I could bring the UWS back in time it sure would not be to the 70s/80s, but rather the 40s/50s when ladies wore hates and gloves to walk down Broadway and men in hats and long coats stood in front of great looking long gone neon storefronts.
Neither is happening.
Embrace the future people. This is a nice addition to the hood.
R beat me to it.
A please, please please move back to the suburbs where you belong. You are ruining new york city.
*like* + infinity
that was for @R not @A.
auto boycott of this spot in honor of big nick’s.
I miss Big Nick’s, and I regret deeply what has happened to this once-neighborhood. I’ve made that pretty clear in prior posts.
But I can’t agree to boycott a new business just because it has taken the space vacated when Nick’s landlord effectively tossed Nick into the street. As others here have said, we should be grateful it’s not one of the other faceless entities like Duane Reade or Name-A-Bank, and happy it’s not another yogurt store or whatever next year’s fad will be.
Yes, there are other bakeries on the UWS. (Not one of them that I’ve seen — and I haven’t nearly tried them all — makes a nice rye bread, but so?) Let’s give this guy a chance, shall we? Making his business fail won’t bring back Big Nick’s. At most all you’ll accomplish is yet another vacant store front, and heaven knows we have enough of those up here, too.
You can boycott it..It will teach the landlord to think about what the COMMUNITY Needs and Wants..instead of how much he can fatten his back account.
You are comparing Big Nicks to MSG????!!!!!!!
Sassy Lou – So answer this: What stores (in your opinion) does the UWS need????
This bakery (a food store) replaced a diner (a food store).
If you had your way… what would go there? Serious question!
Oh no! Not another bakery!
No wonder everyone’s so fat on the UWS these days.
How boring. @ Big Nick’s you could get a delicious freshly cooked hamburger and salad.
If I remember correctly, you could also order a hot dog wrapped in pizza dough from Big Nick’s. It wasn’t called “Skinny” Nick’s, for good reason
Sorry to see people at Big Nick’s lose their jobs. Though the food, service and delivery were awful. Perhaps if they’d been better it might have been sustainable. No idea how a mom & pop bakery is going to be able to make its nut for a space like that.
Hey there West Side Rag!
I consider most UWS businesses to be resources for people living in the neighborhood.
Why don’t you too and give the address, phone number, website/email address and coordinates of the location (e.g. W100/Broadway) so those of us who live here can easily access and decide the value for ourselves.
It would be nice if that info was standard anytime you write an article about an opening.
It takes a lot to open a retail business on the UWS that isn’t part of a corporate chain.
Good Luck to Mille-Feuille!
p.s. Big Nick’s probably wouldn’t have lasted once the sanitary inspections started and all of us who live here know that’s true whether we liked the food or not.
Sure thing Nancy. Broadway between W. 76th and 77th street, West side of the block. Let us know what you think of the pastries.
Unbelievable, all these assholes who didn’t like Big Nick’s. WTF kind of freaking bore must you be to whine about the service? I hope you choke on the fake cronuts, sissies.
I can’t believe you’re complaining about a bakery. And if you’re that upset over not being able to get cheeseburgers at big nicks, this bakery just saved your life.
Mille-Feuille is a chain – not a new independent store. There is at least one other in the city. (Just FYI.) And there are many dessert places on the UWS (Levaine, Grand Daisy, Sugar & Plumm, Cafe Lalo) but not very many reasonably priced (yes, it was reasonable – relative to other UWS places) for casual food – where you could also eat outside….
A couple owning 2 (two) locations of the bakery is NOT a chain by any stretch.
If you look across Broadway at the ugliest building on the UWS, THESE are chains…
Bravo, Bravo ! . Could not agree with you more. That buidling across the street is the worst. No character, Poor Materials and Design .. Horrible eyesore
Getting “mad” at a new tenant for their existence because Big Nick’s is not there is so silly. A restaurant is not going to be landmarked. Are folks on the east side “mad” at whatever store replaced Elaine’s?
Let’s get Leticia James to organize a boycott right now.
Everything in NY matters not just for what it is, but also for what it once was. That is why the relevance to Nick’s matters. Because that’s what a neighbourhood, like a family, does. It remembers what was there before. Because it becomes a part of the story of the street. Not to compare one to the other, just as a way of marking the time and remembering the past and paying it small tribute.
Let people have their memories. You too may have something one day that others too focussed on ‘now’ won’t care to let you remember. You have the new. Enjoy it. But dont deprive others of the right to reflect on what came before. That reflection IS New York.
Props to Phil.
It’s sad that the more I see similar articles about commercial gentrification, some simpletons choose to polarize the debate as one between “old cranky people who hate change” and gifted visionaries who embrace the future.
We know neither extreme rules. And anyone who buys into this redaction deserves a free home in Paramus.
Well put. – As the long-term residents have seen New York quickly change into one big corporate chain…the only Landlord on the UWS that is keep the community still intact as much as they can is the Zabaar Family. Thank goodness their “business tenants” can keep their products affordable for the majority that live there.
To all the rude commenters who somehow feel it’s OK to insult others because a burger joint didn’t make it: get a life.
I tried Mille-Feuille bakery and it was really good.
Let’s boycott Leticia James and all other good-for-nothings that got lucky.
While I like neighborhood authenticity, I am not sad to see Nick’s go of all places. It felt like a not so good or clean tourist trap (because I don’t think it was a favorite of any local). I too have been wondering who is eating all these sweets. Not just treats, expensive treats. Are they supported by wealthy kids’ birthday parties and 20-something’s with no dependents whose metabolisms can pull off sweets as long as they walk around the corner to Equinox or Soul Cycle?
One local (1976 far enough back for you?).
Big Nick’s = serious favorite.
Not to mention all those signs on the walls at Big Nick’s. ADD anyone? As for the sweet shops all around here, have you not noticed all the kids? The UWS is the suburbs for Manhattan.
I love the complaints that another bakery will make people fat. Personally, the Big Nicks Sumo Burger, late night slice and eggplant parm heroes did more to hurt my BMI than ANY bakery.
I miss big Nicks, but I would never call it the “healthy alternative”…
For all of you negative posters saying it’s a shame that a bakery replaced Big Nick’s: let’s assume, they just had to go. Done deal. If a bakery has you so upset, what would make you happy? What kind of shop would you like to replace it?
Comic book store?
What would make you happy?
Sometimes transition just has to happen. I miss Nicks. Loved the Gyro platter. But I’ll deal. And you do have to admit… even though it was “kitchy”, kind of like Shopsins downtown… it was a big mess of a place. Yes, it was an old-time UWS kind of mess (some – like me), found it charming, but…
How I miss the sight and smell of all those folks in sandals with socks sitting under the scaffolding of the one time proud SRO stuffing NYC’s biggest bargain in cholesterol down their polyglot maws.
I will not miss the latex pizza.
I continue to be amused by the bashing of ‘greedy’ landlords who raise rents unreasonably and force businesses to close. I bemoan the loss of any small business that adds character to my neighborhood just as much as any other Upper West Sider. But to all the hypocrite bleeding-heart liberals posting comments on this website, I challenge you to sell something that you own for a discount, or rent your apartment at well below market rates, in effect take a loss on something just because the alternative of making a profit or trading at market levels would be pure evil in your minds.
And for all the suburb bashing, I’ve been an urbanite my whole life; but if I had to choose between a suburban UWS with well spent taxpayer dollars, low crime, good quality of life and one that is becoming a dumping ground and a money pit for all the homeless shelters that are contributing to a deteriorating quality of life, that’s a bit of a slam dunk isn’t it.
There’s another Big Nicks on 71st and Columbus. It’s filthy as b*lls, but great for a 2am drunked slice.
What jerks you are for criticizing @A for his opinion. I live in a household where one of us is from the burbs, the other born and raised HERE IN MANHATTAN and neither one of us is lamenting the end of Big Nicks. It’s sad to see a business lose out to rent raises, but this is what happens in cities like NYC. We are not that unique in that when times are good and the city is doing well, rents go up. And as a result some good things happen, and some bad things happen.
But, moreover, living in a city like this means constant change. And while we can disagree about the types of changes that occur, telling someone to go back to the suburbs is so ridiculous and juvenile. New Yorkers call themselves open-minded and accepting, but statements like these imply that you old crusty UWSers are just the opposite – and you should be ashamed of what you’ve become because I bet you weren’t always like this.
Find something else to complain about for once other than rich suburbanites taking over your precious, righteous streets… Or maybe YOU should move because YOUR kind is being phased out.
Well…”household” huh…that tells us all we need to know about you. No one has USED that word about New York living since pre-civil rights era!!!
New Yorkers are open-minded but they don’t tolerate intolerance….which is the same as being forced out of your neighborhood by economic means…economic force is the same as being intolerant. Don’t tell me it’s not personal. It’s all personal. It’s no longer just business. Community, culture, business is all connected. REAL New Yorker’s hate that intolerant greedy uppity shit.
Yikes, @Sas, your comment depicts intolerance at its worst. Just because someone works hard, makes more money, and moves into new digs – that makes them greedy and uppity? Perhaps the people who lived in your apartment before you did couldn’t afford the rent that you are paying now. Should they feel the same way about you?
Sas – go get yourself a fake cronut and calm the heck down. Not everything is personal, least of all the economic ebbs and flows of a city. I feel badly for you.
And – out of curiosity (since I clearly live in the pre-civil rights era in my head)- what WOULD be your word of choice for “household”? Would it be “family” or “partnership”? Next time I’ll be sure to use it. I wouldn’t want you to imply I’m racist or anything.
I call them like i see them.
Also, “Household” is totally a word used in today’s lexicon.
Google has 125 million results for the word alone – no joke.
its actually a politically correct way to describe a group of people living under one roof – “family” implies traditional hetero-normative nuclear family. I like household much better, thanks
you sound real intolerant in your talk of intolerance.
and yes rather uppity.
I always say nothing more intolerent then an extreme liberal who doesnt hear just agreements with their views.
All these cranky “old UWSers” are gonna retire to Boca or West Palm in a few years anyway . . . where they’ll be driving (poorly) to the WalMart to buy inexpensive food and sundries.
Well said Jemma.
I am amazed at what gets people going on this site.
To me, I am ambivilent at best. Sure I liked Nicks, but places like that have a life term and I welcome the new attractive use that too is a small business.
Meanwhile the posting below about the school chancellor who is doing some potentially serious damage gets no comments.
I give it 8 months at that rent that Big Nicks could not afford.
Remember…60% of the UWS is STILL Rent Stabilized/Rent Controlled. This is why small businessess (that don’t have one of those 20+ year leases that were still affordable from back in the day)…won’t last long.
If wealthy foreigners buy up condo space…but don’t live it it 80% of the year..your businesses do not get customers…only the ones still living perm on UWS on rent stabilization and fixed incomes…or lower incomes are your only stable customers. The only reason ARTIES is still there at those unaffordable prices..is because they were one of the last one’s to get in on the long-term lease at affordable price.
Went there again today. The best croissant I’ve tried in a while. Very good cold coffee. 7 people while I was there. That’s pretty good.
To all the “boycotters”: how about boycotting Marshalls, CVS and Duane Reade, for starters? Direct your stupid outrage toward something that DOES poison the neighborhood and pays minimum wages.
Seriously. This bakery didn’t drive out Big Nick’s. Big Nick’s closed and the space sat there, boarded up, until the bakery moved in. Why on earth would anyone boycott a couple who own the bakery and are trying to make a living? It’s a cute cafe–if you don’t like it, fine, but if they close, Big Nick’s isn’t coming back. It’ll just be an empty storefront again, until a bank moves in.
These comments (pro and con) are the funniest, and silliest things I’ve read on the web since I read the reviews of the Sugar Free Gummy Bears on Amazon. However, there is still a Nick’s (sort of) on 71st east of Columbus if you need the burger fix. And in my opinion, better than the now gone Nick’s. But I digress. Nick’s on Broadway is gone forever. The new bakery will either succeed or not. It’s still survival of the fittest in the jungle. But since we’re chiming in on what we wish was in that space, I would like to have seen either Nedick’s, The Automat, or Chock Full of Nuts………love the date nut bread and cream cheese sandwich…..mmmmmm!
…and sugar donuts!
YES. A CHOCK FULL O ‘NUTS!!!!!!
The cinnamon-raison bread. The cream cheese.
The mini set-up at the Castimidis Headquarters on 86th St (Gristedes) just doesn’t cut it.
Thanks for bring back the memories. Royale Bakery, anyone?
The Royal was amazing. The only downside to it was they closed for vacation every year just when it was my son’s birthday and we were never able to get his cake from there. We were left to fend from the other inferior bakeries. At the time the “hot Place” was The Cupcake Cafe”. Admittedly, I did like their cake and all the other parents were getting great cakes from them. But when we ordered a cake it was an expensive disaster. They told us we could take it or leave it. We left it. My kingdom for a Cake Masters.
Loved Cake Masters on Bway @ 85th! A family bakery; breads and desserts. Also Babka, on Madison @ 72nd. And the Nut Shop on Bway @ 81st. And G&M Pastries on 78 @ Madison. So you know how old I am and how long I’ve lived in NYC. Let’s give Mille Feuille a chance. There’s another small French Bakery around the corner from the Ansonia with nice, expensive treats but sales staff with nasty attitudes. May MF give them a run for their money!
Bless you ED for remembering the Automat, Chock full of nuts, the Royale Bakery and fond memories of all the other
places long gone but not forgotten .
Elllman’s Tea Room for those really of a certain age.
Next door to the New Yorker theater.
Love this bakery!!!! Best macaroons ever!
no one can really replace big nicks